From the Diocese
The most prominent message on the Diocesan website (http://www.diocesesd.org/message_board.htm) is the outline of the new Bishop’s initiative called “A New Partnership with a Generous God.” This initiative was accepted by the Convention in 2007 as the Partners with God initiative and “re-presented” by Bishop Tarrant at the 2009 convention saying that he had a “serious intent of implementing it.”
The entire Diocese took part in crafting this vision for ministry in the Diocese of South Dakota, and we intend for it to express who we are and where we hope to go together to be the best Diocese we can be. The initiative got a big push from the leadership of The Rev. Canon Dr. Robert T. Wagner.
So what is this initiative? Following is a summary of information on the Diocesan website. Forgive me for getting quickly past the high sounding vision and mission statements and get to the goals and issues.
There are several goals 1) education – offer curriculum in Christian Formation, train educators to engage students; 2) Ministry support – leadership development; 3) minister development – encourage each person to fulfill their individual ministries; 4) Achievement management – communicate and evaluate; 5) stewardship – promote responsible care of church, community, environment and ourselves; 6) evangelism – training in sharing the Good News and Anglican traditions; 7) Community engagement – action to address human needs and justice in local communities at the congregational level.
Bishop Tarrant says there are three issues – 1) setting priorities, 2) renewal, and 3) partnership.
His first priorities are Stewardship, Evangelism and Community Engagement. These three priorities define: · who we are – we are stewards of the bounty that God has given us. · Why we’ve come – we are heralds of God’s kingdom, and · what we are to do – we are called to love God and our neighbors.
To bring about renewal, he plans to listen to us tell of our understanding of relations with God, family, church, community (he didn’t mention Earth, but I suppose it is in there somewhere).
To develop partnerships, he wants to hear how we can all work together in this Diocese as the Body of Christ. He offers an awesome quote from St. Theresa of Avila who said “Christ has no body now on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours, ours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the earth, ours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good and ours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.”
Bishop Tarrant says “I want to nurture a spirit of partnership in which everyone can have their say, · all can hear the gospel, and · everyone can say with gratitude I am an Episcopalian from South Dakota. Here am I, send me!”